ELECTRONIC wallet platform GCash is planning to conduct its initial public offering (IPO) by the second half of the year as the company awaits a more favorable market, its president said.

“We’re preparing internally so that we can be ready for this year; it is a question of the market,” Oscar A. Reyes, Jr., president and chief executive officer of G-Xchange, told reporters on the sidelines of a press briefing last week.

“From how it looks, the market doesn’t seem hopeful right now. I think we’re waiting for the market to recover. Hopefully by the second half,” he added.

G-Xchange is the operator of GCash. The parent firm of GCash, Globe Fintech Innovations, Inc., is an affiliate of listed telecommunications company Globe Telecom, Inc.

GCash is waiting for the market to improve, Mr. Reyes said.

China Bank Capital Corp. Managing Director Juan Paolo E. Colet said the second half may be the best time for an IPO this year, as the US Federal Reserve is widely expected to begin cutting rates by that time.

“This will certainly be a very exciting IPO. We expect strong appetite from local and foreign investors given the market-leading position and tech-themed growth story of GCash,” Mr. Colet said in a Viber message on Sunday.

The Philippine central bank is expected to cut benchmark interest rates by June to match the US Federal Reserve easing its policy rates.

However, a favorable market environment will not guarantee a successful IPO, according to Globalinks Securities and Stocks, Inc. Head of Sales Trading Toby Allan C. Arce, who added that investors would assess the company’s performance and its growth strategy.

“The second half of 2024 could be a decent window for a GCash IPO, but it’s not guaranteed success. Careful evaluation of market conditions, GCash’s performance, and investor sentiment will be crucial for ensuring a smooth and successful listing,” Mr. Arce said. 

The current digital payments trend is also expected to drive investors’ appetite, he added.

“The ongoing trend towards digital payments and financial services could benefit GCash and appeal to investors looking for exposure to this growing market,” Mr. Arce said.

To date, GCash has over 80 million registered users. It has made over financial transactions for more than 60 million registered users. 

Mr. Reyes said the company is looking to expand its reach as it eyes to secure approvals in other markets. 

“Good news is we actually got approval to fully launch in 16 countries already,” he said.

GCash has launched its “beta version” allowing users in the UK, Italy, Australia, US, Canada, and Japan to use the electronic wallet platform.

“The next 10 countries were already approved as well. We’ll be going to the Middle East soon. As well as a couple of more countries in Europe and more in Asia as well, within the first quarter,” he said. 

Meanwhile, analysts said that Globe being a listed company will not impact GCash’s planned IPO, as some Globe investors will find the IPO attractive.

“The fact that Globe is already listed will not impact the GCash IPO. Some Globe investors might actually shift funds to GCash for better upside risk exposure,” Mr. Colet said. — Ashley Erika O. Jose